“I feel… empty”
I couldn’t help myself to start this post with this Grey’s Anatomy quote from early season 2 :-) I’m a nerd that way, that I perfectly remember some dialogues, which probably has something to do with watching the episodes or favourite moments of it multiple times. But this line just came to my mind, when I thought how to write about the strange feeling I woke up to this morning. And no, it has nothing to do with being sick and throwing up *g*. Just with having said goodbye to some very lovely people, who I spent most of my spare time with during the last few days. Yes, I’ve finished reading “An Echo in the Bone” late last night, very late last night. Early this morning to be exact. I just couldn’t put it down and go to sleep not knowing what’s going to happen to the Frasers. And the MacKenzies. And of course Lord John and William Ransom. And now I know, or at least I know parts of it, because of course there were some cliffhangers and in fact I don’t know anything at all really. Which sucks a little. But I guess that’s the price you have to pay when you let yourself get sucked into this fictional world and get so so attached to all these wonderful characters.
This 7th novel of the Outlander series was just published last week so I’ll try to not give anything away and to not spoil anyone’s pleasure of reading it. Because it has been a tremendous pleasure. I know I’ve said it before, when I have spent almost two months this summer reading the first six novels in a row. But I really have to express my deepest thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating these characters and to make them so loveable, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with them and care about their fate. Diana has a wonderful way with words and she made these broad range of various characters with their different ways of living and their sense of honor and morality come alive, which is really fascinating.
There were still a few things that bothered me. The biggest probably is, that nobody told me that I should have read the Outlander spinoff – Lord John series – as well, before I read this newest novel :-). I had thought about reading the Lord John series after I had finished “A Breath of Snow and Ashes” but thought it really just were about Lord John and not at all about the original Outlander characters. I just today read that Jamie makes an appearance in one of the stories. Damn, why didn’t I know that before :-)? Anyway, there were quite a few characters in this 7th novel, who I didn’t know. Who hadn’t appeared in the previous ones and there were backstories I didn’t remember. I have to admit I might not be the most dilligent reader, when it comes to the Outlander series, because I am always so impatient to find out what is happening to my favourite couple, that I might not fully concentrate on all the parts of the story in which they don’t appear. But I knew I would have remembered if someone like “Percy Beachamp” had made an appearance before.
So I figured out that all of these characters and backstories must have been part of the Lord John series. I still understood the events and storylines in this Outlander novel, but it probably would have helped to have the knowledge from the Lord John series. I ordered them this afternoon just to have all the nformation even if it’s belated now.
The things that bothered me during the first six novels, bothered me in this one as well, even though they didn’t bother me a lot. And they didn’t bother me all that much back then to begin with. I can’t really criticize a writer, whose books I can’t put down, can I? But I still sometimes had the strange feeling that Diana Gabaldon makes up the story, while she is writing it, if you know what I mean. That she doesn’t have clear plan where the story is headed. At least it sometimes felt to me that way.
Just like in the previous parts of this series I thought some of the twists and turns in the plot were a bit too far-fetched. Too much a (un)lucky coincidence to actually pass as believable. I good-naturedly just ignored those this time as well. But there also were some twists and turns which were really surprising and kept me on the edge of my seat. Like the cliffhanger I mentioned above.
One of the surprising twists was, when Jamie is assumed to be dead, which I can’t consider a spoiler, because it should be clear to anyone that Diana would never kill him off. Ever. Well, I hope not ever, not even in the end of the last last part of the series. Anyway, he is assumed dead, but of course he’s not and thus reading about it wasn’t as heartbreaking as it could have been. I was just anxious to have him reappear at Claire’s side, because of course she didn’t know he was still alive and was devasted. How she dealt with her grief was one of the surprising twists, but I really liked it. And in the end there even was the encounter I most anxiously had waited for since page 1. Or even the end of the 6th novel. Well for a long long time at least. It didn’t happened the way I would have imagined it, but it still was all absolutely in character. And just like in my personal envisoned version of that encounter, a rosary indeed was thrown across the room. Yes, I know my guys :-)
I still haven’t figured out how to spend my days without Jamie now. Besides writing long blog posts about this novel :-) Yes, there is a termpaper to work on. A Grey’s review to write (Absolutely loved the epsisode). There are other TV series to catch up with. Messy and cramped shelves to sort through. Hockey games to watch. So much more stuff to spend my time with.
But I’m really really reallly going to miss Jamie. Why? Because he is just the most perfect fictional guy that has ever crossed my path. He is handsome. Funny. Smart. Sexy. Thoughtful. Brave. Caring. Sexy. Honorable. Galant. Affectionate… Did I mention “sexy”? Just like Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd (who by the way is my second favourite fictional guy) Jamie has the most adorable habit to make all kind of “Hmph” noises. And he is Scot, for God sake, which means he has the most adorable accent, which you can’t actually read in print, but I can totally hear it, when I read it. And he says things like “Sassenach” and “Dinna fash…”. So, seriously what’s not to love about this guy? Now I just have to figure out a way how to live without him again for the next couple of years *sigh*